Friday, August 23, 2013

Favorite Photo Friday: Their Favorite Place

The exploration of our new town has begun!  Really, it began and then stopped when they found this.

I mean, why explore when its 93 degrees and you find a sprayer park in the nearest shopping center where you can splash in the water, meet some friends, and have a great time with your new sibling?

You can do your own thing...
Find a worthy water fight opponent..

Or wage a water war as a team?

Something tells me we will be back to this spot again and again!

Thanks for stopping by,
Fannie, Matt, Katie, & Chengbin

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

3 Weeks!!

Our sweet boy has been with us for three weeks, which means I am about 2 1/2 weeks behind on updates!!  I'll get it caught up, this is how I am documenting his adoption.  One day I will convert this blog to a book for him.  Since I'm SO far behind, I decided to give an update on the here and now before I start working on all the remaining posts I need to do from China.

So, three weeks has made a world of difference in his attachment and adjustment.  Since getting home from China, our family has made the move to Alabama.  Unfortunately, our house wasn't ready when we got here (it was supposed to have been ready 3 weeks ago) so we are staying in an extended stay 1 bedroom hotel room while we wait to move into the house. It's been a crazy week for Chengbin since on Monday we are somewhat back to what will be the everyday routine.  Sissy is at school.  Matt is at work.  Chengbin and I are going to doctors & hematologists & preschools & dealing with house issues & visiting his favorite Thomas the Train set up at Barnes & Noble.

Chengbin had his first transfusion in the US as soon as we got home, August 8th.  After testing yesterday, we found out that less than 2 weeks later, he is already due for another one.  Its hard to know if this is because he has been sick or if it is his normal cycle.  Only time will tell!  We're just so glad that he is home and can receive proper medical intervention.  :)

THREE WEEKS!  Can't believe it!  So glad our sweet boy is home.  He is perfect for us and we love him so much!!

Thanks for stopping by!
Fannie, Matt, Katie, & Chengbin

Sunday, August 4, 2013

Day Seven: Medical Appointment

So Thursday came and so did Chengbin's medical appointment.  We were still dealing with some serious obstinence. 

Chengbin, hold hands.  No
Chengbin, hold mama's hand or baba's hand.  No
Chengbin, let's go this way.  (Stops in his steps.  Determined not to move...  No

This little guy is seriously stubborn!!!  We get a few minutes away from our hotel and he completely shuts down.  He gets quiet, unhappy, and VERY obstinate!!!  In the room, happy boy.  Out of the room, angry boy, determined to do the opposite of what we ask.  Not sure of the cause yet.  Just kind of considering it a shut down-cause unknown.

We went to the medical appointment in the morning.  We breezed through all the stations, and as expected, we had no tears or issues with the blood test.  Sadly, our little guy is more than used to needles and blood tests.  He was a little obstinate at first, but we were able to get him focused on toys and doing what needed to get done to get out of there.

 We were very lucky and the whole process took about 30-40 minutes.  We were one of only 3 adoptive families there at that time.  Our little guy did okay!  It's so much change and craziness for a child who has spent every day of their life for many years within the walls of an orphanage on a rigid schedule!

Here's a pic of my silly boy!
We kept it simple the rest of the day.  Swimming or as Chengbin likes to exclaim "Yo Yong!!!"  Also his first pizza (not a fan by the way)!!  This little guy is slowly but surely making progress in his attachment.  We can really see the difference when we go swimming!  I also took Kate out for a special shopping day during his nap, but since those  pics are on my iphone, I'll do a separate post about that. :)

Thanks for stopping by!
Fannie, Matt, Katie, & Chengbin

Day Six: Trial & Error

So day three with Chengbin and another day of trial & error as we figured out what makes this little guy tick.  The need to take the backpack everywhere continued.  We honestly don't know if he worries every time we leave the room that we aren't coming back so he wants to have his things OR if he just doesn't want to part from the first things that have ever been HIS.  Either way, it was another day of our little man lugging around his backpack. And since he keeps adding things he loves into it, it is heavier for him to carry each time we leave the room.

Our day started with breakfast, where he once again ate his weight in food.  You name it, he ate it.  It was also Matt's birthday, so we were wondering if he was going to be ready for a dinner out or not.  Our biggest concern was actually the fact that he hadn't pooped at all since getting him. I mean here's this little guy who has eaten A LOT and no poopy!  He had to be hurting.  We didn't know what the cause was though.  Is it that he doesn't know how to go on a western toilet?  Is it that he's all stopped up?  We asked many times if he needs to go poopy, and we'd point and show but he always shook his head no.  At one point Matt decided to just get him to sit on the toilet for a a minute so he would know where to go when he finally did need to go.  Of course he refused to sit there and our second big power struggle began.  Matt sat patiently and spoke gently to him for over an hour as he cried, screamed, and generally tantrumed because Baba wouldn't let him leave the bathroom until he sat on the potty.  Finally, he gave in and sat.  Baba told him "good boy" and he decided not to even hold a grudge against Baba for it.

We went to the police station in Guangzhou with our guide to apply for Chengbin's Chinese passport.  It was a large room filled with some of the adoptive families we had seen on Gotcha day.  Our guide explained that the process is the same the first 3 days for all families.

After going to apply for his passport we asked our guide if we could stop for medicine on the way back.  She stopped at a Chinese pharmacy and got a pediatric tea for him.  He was very excited to drink it, so as soon as we got back, he asked Mama to make him the tea.  The tea did the trick and after a couple days of worrying about our little boy's tummy he was back to normal again.  We were relieved and excited that we could go out to dinner now that we weren't worried about being far from a western toilet. :)

We went to an amazing noodle restaurant with a fellow adoptive family.  It was delicious and we laughed at how excited Chengbin was about the food.  He ate, and ate, and ate.  I think he ate more than anybody at the table!  When we arrived back at the room, Matt had a birthday cake waiting for him.  It was shaped as a birthday present and he was surprised to get a cake here in China!  We all had our cake then it was bedtime.

Another China day in the books.  Our little boy is slowly but surely getting comfortable with us and learning to trust.  We have a long way to go, but we are amazed at the progress already.  On Tuesday night we went to bed hoping and praying that every day wouldn't be so difficult and exhausting.  Wednesday night we went to bed saying this was his best day yet, feeling hopeful and optimistic about how quickly we are figuring him out.  He has moments where he shuts down, gets really quiet and extremely obstinate.  Luckily, there are more moments where he is sweet and kind and makes sure everyone has whatever snack we are having.  The good moments are more frequent than the bad ones, and we are very grateful for that.

I know that the best days are yet to come and we are excited!!  Chengbin is no longer an orphan.  He is a loved son and brother, grandson, great grandson, nephew, and cousin.  Praise God!

Friday, August 2, 2013

Day Five: Adoption & Adjustment

Oh what a day our first full day with the little man was.  He slept with daddy (no bed wetting) and woke up happy and ready to go.  We went down to breakfast and found out he can really put away the food!!  He ate pancakes, donuts, watermelon, pork teriyaki, rice noodles, & cantaloupe.  He offered mama and baba quite a bit of this food in between shoveling in bites himself.  So sweet!  He watched baba stir cream and sugar into his coffee, so once he was finished eating, he composed a Chengbin Special for Baba which had orange juice, sugar, yogurt, and who knows what else.  Baba politely turned it down! :)

Then we went for a walk around the pond and waterfall path to see the fish and do a little exploring.  He started having moments that he didn't want to hold hands along the way, but he definitely checks often to make sure we are all with him.

 Looking back to make sure I'm coming too.  He always does that! So sweet...

We got ready to head back to Civil Affairs to complete the adoption, and as we tried to leave the room we got the first glimpse of stubbornness.  He DID NOT want to leave the room.  Unfortunately, we had to, so he angrily walked over to the elevator with us and went downstairs.  We met our guide and went to walk out to the van and he refused to go.  He stood there... Still, quiet, and very determined.  We told him to come, he shook his head no.  Our guide told him to come, he shook his head no.  We asked him if he wanted to hold hands.  No.  To let us pick him up.  No.  We went to hold hands and he pulled away.  Matt resolutely decided to just pick him up and go.  That's when the meltdown begun.  Chengbin tried so hard to push himself away from Baba to escape.  Little did he realize that Baba is much stronger.  He cried, screamed, pushed, kicked and Baba sweetly and calmly told him that we have to go and we're sorry we can't stay in the room, but he needs to calm down.  He acted that way all the way to the car and 5 minutes into the car ride before he finally began to settle down. 

I'll admit, I was worried.  We were about to go sign papers saying that we want to keep this little boy forever and I worried he was going to reject us right in front of them and what would happen then?  Fortunately, though he was still upset, he decided to be compliant, walk in and do what he was asked.  Within 30 minutes, our adoption was complete and we decided that only our guide and I would go into the store to buy Chengbin a pair of shoes on the way back.  (The ones from gotcha day were too big and quite stinky ;)

We made it back into the hotel before noon and decided that for the rest of the day we would be staying in.  He did just fine in the hotel.  We went swimming and he did okay.  This boy LOVES swimming, but by the end of the swim we decided that we are DONE with the kiddie pool after another 15 minutes of him nearly hitting his head once every couple of minutes as he throws himself down.  In the big pool he decided that he would let me help a little to take him out, but he didn't let me hold him close or take him very far out.  The trust just wasn't there yet.

At the end of the day we decided to go get a movie or two since we were getting bored. Once again, he didn't want to leave the room.  We just stood by the door and waited a minute to see if he'd change his mind.  He then packed up his backpack with his favorite toys, put it on, and he was ready to go with us.  At that point we realized, that is what he had been trying to do in the morning before the meltdown... He had wanted to take his backpack.  So we went to the store and after a minor freak out where he thought Baba was taking his movie away (actually we were just going to pay for it) we saw the stubborn child re-emerge. The walk back was difficult...

So he is clearly feeling more comfortable and willing to share when he is angry.  We are all adjusting.  Learning how to communicate.  Learning what makes our little guy tick.  And he's learning what Mama & Baba expect of him.  Its a tremendous adjustment for this little boy and we are trying to be patient and loving to help him understand this new life he has entered.  Adjustment is hard.  Really hard.  You know it's going to be, but somehow it is way different when you are "down in the trenches" actually doing it.  He is worth it though.  This poor little boy has gone through more than any child should have to.  Thank the Lord he is ours, and no matter the adjustment or the meltdown or the difficulty, we will get through it with him.

Pray for us though, that we are making the right choices.  That he will understand us, and we will understand him.  This little boy's life has been turned upside down.  In his moments of upset I sense a little bit of his grief.  We went to bed that night praying so hard that Wednesday would be better.